Pokémon GO Ruled Blasphemous in Indian Courts

An Indian court in the western state of Gujrat has received a formal complaint calling for a ban on the popular augmented-reality game, Pokémon Go, on the basis that it is blasphemous.

Nachiket Dave, the lawyer representing the claimant Alay Dave, contended that the game offends the religious sentiments of Hindus and Jains, some of whom abstain from consuming meat, eggs and other dairy products, by rewarding players with eggs within the game, some of which are even awarded in temples and places of worship.

With a large number of Hindus being vegetarian, including the country’s Prime Minister and other high-ranking officials, and people of the Jain faith following a vegan diet, Mr. Dave argued at the short court hearing that doing such a thing, even in the virtual world, was blasphemous and extremely objectionable.

Mr. Dave, on behalf of his client, has demanded a response from the State of Gujrat, the Indian government and Niantic, the developers of the game, addressing the claim.

Since its release and consequent popularity, the game has been criticized for labeling religious and cultural sites as Pokémon landmarks, and religious figures calling for a complete ban on the game, which is already in effect in some countries.

A blogger has also been charged in Russia with offending the sentiments of church goers and provoking hatred when he filmed himself playing the game inside a church. Niantic, after receiving multiple complaints, has recently removed the WWII holocaust memorials in Berlin and Hiroshima as Pokéstops.